The Promised Offspring Rejected
Acts 13:26-37 – A Rejected Promise w/o Corruption
Diving Deeper Lesson Outline for Acts 13:26-37
This is lesson 2 of 3 on Paul’s sermon in Acts 13.
Part 1 was the “Jesus Was” of Paul’s sermon.
Part 2 is the “Jesus Is”.
Part 3 will cover the “Jesus Can Be.”
Title derived from the 3 points covered below.
In Part 2 of his sermon, I believe Paul is arguing that the relationship of God with Israel as experienced (see lesson on Part 1) in the lives of the Hebrew people, their nation and their land (the Abrahamic covenant) is the same relationship that culminates with Jesus.
Even though, in Jesus 1st coming, there was no direct intervention by God with regards to people, nation and land as there was in the Old Testament:
- Jews were not redeemed from the rule of the Romans as they were redeemed from the Egyptians, Acts 13:17.
- Jews’ promise land was not purged of pagans as it was from the Canaanites, Acts 13:19.
- Israel was not restored to prominence politically under the rule of a king as it was with King David, Acts 13:22.
Paul hangs his argument on 3 things.
The 1st is the rejection of Jesus by Jerusalem in Acts 13:27-28.
The 2nd is the concept of a promised offspring, which Paul introduced in Acts 13:23 and now in Acts 13:32-33.
The 3rd is the concept of “not seeing corruption” (resurrection), which Paul addresses in Acts 13:35-37.
1) PAUL PREACHES THE WORD – THE REJECTION
Point 1 is drawn from Paul’s words in Acts 13:27-28.
The rejection in the OT:
In Isaiah 8:14 Jesus is a “rock of stumbling”.
In Isaiah 53:3 we see the Messiah as the rejected man of sorrows.
In Romans 11:7-8 Paul quotes Isaiah 29:10 in relation to Israel’s rejection of Jesus.
In Zechariah 12:1-14 we learn that the people of Jerusalem will mourn over the Messiah they pierced.
And by inference, a pierced Messiah is a rejected Messiah.
POI – With regards to redemption of Israel as a nation, we learn in Zechariah 12:1-14 that at Christ’s 2nd coming, the people of Jerusalem will repent over the sin of rejecting Jesus.
And a repentant nation of Israel will be saved, “I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem”.
The first coming was to a nation that rejected Jesus; the second coming will be to a nation that doesn’t.
In Revelation 7 we see, in the words of John MacArthur, “A missionary corps of redeemed Jews who are instrumental in the salvation of many Jews and Gentiles during the Tribulation. They will be the firstfruits of a new redeemed Israel. Finally, Israel will be the witness nation she refused to be in the OT.”
The rejection in the NT:
In Romans 11:25-27 we learn that a “hardening” has occurred for the sake of the Gentiles.
In Luke 19:41-44 we learn from Jesus that because “they are hidden from your eyes” rejection is coming.
And though it is part of God’s plan, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and its coming destruction for this rejection.
Summary of Point 1:
Rejection of the Messiah is as much part of OT prophecy as a national redemption.
This rejection was always part of God’s plan and it ushered in God’s plan to redeem the Gentiles.
Israel as a nation will be redeemed in Christ’s 2nd coming.
As a matter of fact, it is a “pierced” and once rejected Messiah that does this redemption!
Jesus first came “humbled and mounted on an ass” as prophesied in Zechariah 9:9 and was rejected.
But He will be “coming with the clouds” as prophesied in Daniel 7:13.
2) PAUL PREACHES THE WORD – THE PROMISED OFFSPRING
Point 1 is drawn from Acts 13:23 and Acts 13:32-33.
The promise as revealed in the OT:
In Genesis 12:7 we find the promise; “To your offspring I will give this land.”
In Genesis 22:16-18 we get an elaboration of the promise in relation to obedience to God’s voice.
(As opposed to a position of offspring based on birth, as we will see.)
In Genesis 28:14-15 we get even more on the promise.
The promise as revealed in the NT:
In Galatians 3:16, Paul refers to Genesis 12:7 and calls Christ the “offspring”.
In Romans 9:8-9, Paul relates the promise of Jesus to the promised son (offspring) of Abraham and Sarah.
He does this because, He argues, it was the promise of God that resulted in the offspring and not “the flesh”.
Therefore, it is not the “children of the flesh” who are counted as offspring but the “children of the promise”.
To emphasize this point, Paul contrasts for us in Galatians 4:23 the birth of Isaac with the birth of Ishmael.
So what is a child of promise?
In Romans 4:13 Paul tells us that the promise offspring relationship is one of faith not the law.
And in Romans 4:16, he tells us that the promise rests on the grace of God not the works of man.
As mentioned earlier, being a promised offspring is a heart condition (“a circumcised heart” in the words of Moses) not a relationship based on a physical bloodline.
In Galatians 3:29 Paul tells us that “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
In other words, believers in Christ are children of the promise; a promise that God made to Abraham.
Paul sums this up in Romans 1:1-6.
POI – the concept of Gentiles being heirs is called throughout Paul’s epistles a mystery as in Ephesians 3:6.
Summary of Point 2:
God’s promise to Abraham to give him an offspring referred to Isaac and Jesus Christ.
This offspring resulted from an act of God not the work of the flesh.
This means that the equation “Jew By Birth = Child of Promise & Salvation” is not the message of the OT.
The message is that anyone can be a “Child of Promise” by grace through faith in Jesus.
If the promise was based in the flesh, there is no hope for any person but a Jew; a descendant of Abraham.
Paul captures this in Romans 15:8-11, when he says, “Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs…”